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  • It All Starts Today

    It All Starts Today

    ★★★★

    It’s so rare that fictional films deal realistically with the reality of being a teacher, especially a kindergarten teacher in a town suffering from poverty because it’s such a depressing topic that we all know and would rather not confront. Even recommending a movie like IT STARTS TODAY sounds like homework: 105 minutes of watching a teacher/principal work with kids, deal with parents who haven’t gotten a job in years, so their electricity has been off for six months, with…

  • Boss Level

    Boss Level

    ★★½

    Frank Grillo forever.

    Are you nostalgic about mid-2000s style cinema? Writer/Director Joe Carnahan has got your back!

    A super fun concept that slowly runs out of steam before your eyes. I'm sure it made structural sense on paper to start in the highest register and then wind down as it goes on (because we've seen it all!), but boy, does it make for a deflating experience. Instead of getting weird in its last act, it becomes conventional and leaves on a real "That's it?" final note.

    Watch me discuss this film on THE BEST NEW MOVIE SHOW

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  • Assassination Nation

    Assassination Nation

    ★½

    The film starts with a TRIGGER WARNINGS joke. Oof.

    Politically all over the place and tonally repugnant. The film is about the horrors of mob violence and it goosed our audience to scream "KILL! KILL! KILL!" at one point.

    I'm a white dude, so it's not really my place to say this, but it kinda felt uncomfortable watching another white dude make a film about the complexities of being a young woman that revels in mentally and physically abusing them until it switches into a heavy-handed "ISN'T THIS VIOLENCE KEWL!?" finale.

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★½

    "I stay married to you Mank because it's never boring."

    ME, WATCHING MOVIE: That is not true.

    Images that look like you flipped your iPhone to black and white. A story with no dramatic meat. Performances that range from subdued to kind of bored. I understand David Fincher made this film to honour a script his father wrote, but honestly, it probably needed a few more drafts. I genuinely thought "Boy, I'd rather be watching RKO 281, the TV movie about the making-of CITIZEN KANE, or HAIL CEASAR, or ME AND ORSON WELLES, or even frigging TRUMBO.